As most baseball squads are entering the mid-way point of their schedules, the games become more important, especially as teams get into the thick of their conference and division schedules.
On Tuesday, two teams fighting for top-billing in the Henlopen North, rivals Sussex Tech (7-3) (5-3) and Sussex Central (5-1 (5-0)) will meet on the diamond with plenty on the line.
While the Dover Senators are threatening to run away with the division at 8-0 overall and 7-0 within the conference, both the Ravens and Golden Knights remain in striking distance. The Golden Knights, with games in hand, currently sit in second place within the north while the Ravens are in fifth behind Polytech (5-2) (4-1) and Smyrna (7-2) (6-2).
Sussex Central has won four straight, all conference games, including their last win, a 6-2 victory over Caesar Rodney on Friday and are likely to improve upon their record this Friday when they host a struggling Seaford (2-5) (0-5)team. Meanwhile, after a 6-2 win over Newark on Tuesday the Ravens have won three of their last four.
The Golden Knights with a win will keep their perfect conference record intact, while a loss will keep them within the cluster of teams vying for playoff spots in the division. Sussex Tech on the other hand would benefit greatly from a win as a loss would hand them their fourth conference defeat making it tough to end the year atop the division.
The matchup on paper is a toss-up as both teams’ average about the same amount of runs scored and runs against a game.
Both teams have proven they can score runs, so pitching will be important. And recently, both teams have received good pitching.
Tech over their last four games has allowed just six runs total, while the Golden Knights aside from their 18-2 loss to Salesianum have allowed just 10 runs total in their other five contests.
Clay Conaway has been the Golden Knights’ stud on the mound, with three complete-game wins. While the Ravens have relied on a deep staff led by Brian DeLeon, Wyatt Richardson, and Kole Hearn.
The outcome of Tuesday’s contest won’t make-or-break either team’s season, however, it could mean an awful lot for the team that wins come the end of the season. While the game could go either way, one team will come away with a very important conference win.